Last week I selected my best ever Fremantle Dockers 22 to mark the 25th year of the clubs existence in the AFL competition.
So even though this season is not a special anniversary year for crosstown rivals the West Coast Eagles, I thought it would be interesting to also pick that clubs All-Star team over their 32-year history.
This is a more difficult exercise than last week, not only because the Eagles have been in existence seven more years, but because of the success of the club.
The Eagles 32 years is glittered with success: four premierships (1992, 1994, 2006, 2018), three Brownlow Medallists (Chris Judd (2004), Ben Cousins (2005), Matt Priddis (2014)) and five Norm Smith Medallists (Peter Matera (1992), Dean Kemp (1994), Chris Judd (2005), Andrew Embley (2006), Luke Shuey (2018)). Many great players will not be able to squeeze into my Eagles best 22.
Backs: Shannon Hurn (Vice Captain), Darren Glass, Jeremy McGovern
Shannon Hurn: The 2018 Premiership Captain is a tenacious defender and exquisite kick, penetrating the lines with long precision kicks to team mates often in congested confines.
Darren Glass: 2006 Premiership and All-Australian full-back who was forever reliable as the deep defensive lynchpin in the sides he played in.
Jeremy McGovern: Oh what a player; the intercept king who opposing teams seek to navigate around, usually unsuccessfully, in the quest to score.
Half Backs: Guy McKenna, Glen Jakovich, John Worsfold (Captain)
Guy McKenna: A calm and polished defender who would vie with Carltons Bruce Doull and Ken Hunter and Hawthorns Luke Hodge as the best half backs in the VFL/AFL in the last 35 years, gaining three All-Australian jumpers and two premiership medals.
Glen Jakovich: The Rock of Gibraltar on the famed half-back line of McKenna, Jakovich and Worsfold, who retired after 13 seasons and 276 games for the Eagles with two premierships, two All-Australian team selections and four times club champion.
John Worsfold: Two-time premiership player who gave all for his team mates, leading from the front and considered one of the clubs and AFLs toughest and most courageous players in the 1990s.
Centres: Peter Matera, Dean Kemp, Luke Shuey
Peter Matera: A majestic player who seemed to have the ball on a string who went into football folklore with his five goal effort from the wing in the 1992 grand final win against Geelong. Materas efforts earned him the Norm Smith Medal.He was a five time All- Australian and had the distinction of being named in the Indigenous and Italian Teams of the Century.
Dean Kemp: The 1994 Norm Smith Medallist was a polished midfielder, quick by hand and foot in any conditions, including the wet.
Luke Shuey: He rounds of the Norm Smith Medal centreline. He was outstanding in last years grand final close fought victory over Collingwood and week in week out is a ball magnet with excellent disposal skills.
Half Forwards: Brett Heady, Peter Sumich, Andrew Embley
Brett Heady: A skilful courageous half-forward who instinctively knew where the goals were. Played an important role in the Eagles winning finals campaigns of 1992 and 1994, including kicking six majors against Melbourne in the 1994 preliminary final.
Peter Sumich: Dual premiership winner and club leading goal kicker in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1997. A full forward for the club but occasionally did venture further up field to a half-forward position.
Andrew Embley: Another Norm Smith Medallist who was best on ground in the Eagles grand final success against the Sydney Swans. A hard running midfielder who had the knack of being in the right spot at the right time.
Forwards: Phillip Matera, Josh Kennedy, Daniel Kerr
Phillip Matera: Younger brother of Peter, his speed and pressure created many scoring opportunities leading to him being the clubs leading goal kicker in seasons 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. He earned All-Australian honours in 2003.
Josh Kennedy: Traded to the Eagles from Carlton as part of the Chris Judd move the other way in 2008, he has become a superstar for the club. A member of last years premiership team, he has been leading goal kicker at the club six times (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), the Coleman Medal winner for the league top goal kicker in seasons 2015 and 2016 and All-Australian in three consecutive seasons (2015, 2016, 2017).
Daniel Kerr: He formed part of the fab four 2006 premiership midfield along with Chris Judd, Ben Cousins and Chad Fletcher. In 2003 he won the Goal of the Year award and made the All-Australian team in 2007. He twice finished runner up in the Brownlow Medal (2005 and 2007), testament to his quality and prolific running capacity.
Rucks: Dean Cox, Chris Judd, Ben Cousins
Dean Cox: The game record holder for the Eagles (290), he was a skilful mobile premiership ruckman who won the clubs fairest and best in 2008. He was a six times member of the All-Australian Team (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012).
Chris Judd: Arguably the best player in the clubs history and an explosive highly skilled midfielder during his five years and 134 games for the Eagles. He was captain of the 2006 Premiership Team, Norm Smith Medallist in the 2005 losing grand final to the Sydney Swans, Brownlow Medallist in 2004 (and 2010 with Carlton) and CluRead More – Source